Monday, February 8, 2016


From a modern vantage point, gods of the hunt are weird.  Kill any other deity’s favorite creature or totem symbol, you’re likely to be permanently polymorphed into a frog—if you’re lucky.  But kill the sacred hind of a hunting god, and he’ll likely give you an attaboy and a new magical bow as a reward.

The cerynitis is just such a hind.  (Don’t be fooled by the antlers; it’s a doe.)  You can mount the head of a cerynitis on your wall and Herne will not shed a tear.  …That is, if you can catch it, because cerynitises are crazy fast, uncannily dexterous, and graceful to boot.  Failing that, they’ve got a decent gore attack and can see invisibility too.  Oh, and they speak Sylvan and speak with animals as well, so if you do kill one you’ll alienate all your brownie friends and animal companions.  But still, it’s fair game for hunting.

That is, if the cerynitis you picked was sacred to a good of hunting or a red-in-tooth-and-claw nature deity.  Pick one beloved by a pastoral earthmother and you’re totally frogged.  Ditto if it was sacred to a chaste huntress.  Y’know what?—ignore this whole intro.  If you see a cerynitis, just go for catch and release.  It’s worked for better adventurers than you.

Part of an adventurer’s mythic trial is the retrieval of a cerynitis’s “greatest treasure.”  One would think that would be her golden hide…but really, it is her memory of the shattering of the crystal city of Orien, as she is the only eyewitness to the event still living.  If she is killed, the adventurer’s pursuit of mythic power will become much more difficult as word of the deed spreads through the Sylvan-speaking community.

The coat of arms of House d’Ontaign is supported by a golden stag and a golden lion.  Adventurers are hired to capture similar animals for the duke’s private menagerie: an aurumvorax and a cerynitis.

A demigoddess lies at death’s door.  Her malady is more spiritual than physical: A cerynitis invested with her power has been tainted by an otherworldly corruption.  To save her life, adventurers must find and slay the beast.  But it flees before them into wyvern country.  There they must face not only the tainted hind and similarly polluted fey, but also backcountry wyverns, forest dragons, pukwudgie necromancers, and rifle-wielding werewolves who worship a blood goddess even the orthodox thorn elves have forsworn.

Pathfinder Bestiary 5 53

With 5e D&D opening up to third-party creators, it looks like Scarred Lands may be back in business for both D&D and Pathfinder.  By the time you read this the Kickstarter will likely be over—sorry, guys, this one snuck up on me—but as a huge fan of the original setting I’ll be interested to see where things go from here.  Anyway, I bring this up because the cerynitis is perfect for the god- and Titan-touched Scarn.

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